Rain and cold temperatures were forecast for this week. When we arrived the Ranger on duty gave us a slip of paper telling us that the dry wash, located across the entry road, may flood, trapping us in the campground at any time. With heavy rain in the near forecast, we quickly set up camp and then headed out to the grocery store for some necessary (mayonnaise, cookies, asparagus, you know - staples) supplies.
The sky threatened for most of the first day, spritzed a bit the next, the clouds over the mountains advancing and retreating ominously.
I had one off road drive planned and we decided we'd better do it before the weather really closed in. We've driven part of Reddington Pass Road with Jodee and Bill and then again by ourselves - starting at it's beginning off Tanque Verde Road on Tucson's east side. We enjoyed the road and the views but never got a chance to take it all the way to the end, near Oracle and I really wanted to do that. Wednesday was the day.
The road was paved all the way until just past San Manuel, an early Del Webb planned community surrounding a now defunct mine. Shortly thereafter we dropped down onto dirt and continued through a veritable forest of huge, old Saguaro, over several dry washes and into vibrant green Mesquite bosques.
|a sweet little crested Saguaro|
|tire bracelets on one arm!|
After crossing the dry San Pedro River bed we parked the Jeep and took a lovely long walk down it's beautiful white sand bottom. Birdsong kept us company as we walked along marveling at how completely flat and level the course was. No rocks, no snags or erosions to mar the soft footing.
|San Pedro River bed beckoned us|
We came to a running wash that didn't look too bad, too deep, so we got out and walked past it a ways to see what we'd be getting ourselves into if we went ahead.
It was decided that, while Rocky could make it through this part of the wash easily, what came next would be too much of a challenge. Deep, black, sticky mud waited for us after this stretch of running water. That we didn't want to experience so we turned around and headed home.
One wash evidently had fast running water in it often. Someone had piled old cars at it's curve to try and keep the stream within it's banks.
We had a lovely sunset that night and that was the end of our good weather......
It rained hard, all night long. We woke up to a snow covered landscape and the realization that the park was now closed to incoming and outgoing traffic. The wash was running. Our surroundings had become a study in black and white.
|bedroom window view|
|flat Lewis was bored with nothing fun to do|
While we were kept inside, we did a bit of cooking. One thing was our version of the famous Sonoran hot dog. We used one of our favorite western New York hotdogs (Sahlens) for the delicacy but the other ingredients were more or less traditional. A soft Bolillo roll, beans, onions, pickles, tomatoes, jalepenos, etc., etc.. They were good.
Tonight we are under a hard freeze warning. The expected night time temperatures are expected to be in the 20s. That means that poor Dave must unhook and take in our water hose before bed to keep it from freezing. Our outside compartments have heat ducts from the furnace so nothing else should freeze.
To help the propane furnace keep us toasty warm and happy we run a small electric heater most all day. Just on schedule, it stopped working a few hours ago. The coldest night we've had so far and it stopped working.
|workman at his workbench|
Dave was determined to fix it, tonight. He altered one of his screwdrivers to the necessary configuration and took the little appliance apart. He discovered it was an easy fix.
Simply vacuum all the accumulated desert dust from the inside and it was humming along happily a few minutes later. The little red light is glowing now and we're enjoying the heat that is pouring out. Thanks Dave.